2012 Berwick Football Preview
2012 Berwick Bulldogs’ Preview
Head Coach: George Curry
2011 Record: 9-3 WVC: 3-2
2011 Post-Season Results
Eastern Conference Class AAA Championship: Berwick 57 Southern Lehigh 46
Eastern Conference Class AAA Semifinal: Berwick 29 Coughlin 28
Passing: C.J. Curry (98 yards)
Rushing: Jeff Steeber (187 yards, 6.9 ypc)
Receiving: Jake Peccorelli (276 yards, 10.6 ypr, 3 TDs)
Tackles: Travis Potter (67 tackles)
Quarterback Sacks: Travis Potter & Will Masteller (2 sacks)
Interceptions: John Bushinski (5 interceptions)
Key: PF=Points For, PA=Points Allowed
Aug. 31 – at Crestwood, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 – Pottsville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 – Dallas, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 – at Wyoming Valley West, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 – at Selinsgrove, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 – Tunkhannock, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 – Williamsport, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 – at Pittston, 7 p.m.
Oct. 26 – at Coughlin, 7 p.m.
Nov. 2 – Hazleton, 7 p.m.
Berwick, Pennsylvania is known by many for their Wise Potato Chips, the site of the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station (a nuclear power plant), and for the Jaycees Christmas Boulevard which runs along Market Street throughout the month of December. However, there is no denying it, Berwick is a football town. Winners of six state championships (1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1992, 1988) and the nation’s #1 high school football team according to the USAToday’s Super 25 three-times (1995, 1992, 1983).
With all of those accolades, the Bulldogs have slipped under the radar a bit as of late. Berwick played for the equivalent of college basketball’s NIT championship – Eastern Conference playoffs – the last two seasons where the Dawgs won the crown in 2011 (57-46 victory over Southern Lehigh). Last fall, Berwick started off slow losing three of their first four contests. However, the Bulldogs rebounded to win their final eight games and claim the Eastern Conference title for the tenth time in school history.
In early June, Gary Campbell resigned from his head coaching position at Berwick after leading the Bulldogs to 46 victories over a six year stint. Campbell returns to Wahconah (Dalton, Massachusetts) to lead the Warriors’ football program and serve as the school’s athletic director.
Shortly after Campbell’s decision had been made, he placed a phone call to the man whom he had replaced as Berwick’s coach in 2006 – George Curry– to see if there was an interest in returning. The legendary head coach ranks 5th all-time in coaching wins (413-93-5) as he put his stamp on the community and the state of Pennsylvania with his team’s success at Berwick.
“I feel like I never left,” says Curry. “Eighteen hour days. At first when Gary (Campbell) left, I thought I’d do (the administration) a favor on an interim (basis) but I’m into it now. I told my wife, I’ll see you at Christmas. It’s consumed me. I bring it home. I take it to bed. I wake up early in the morning. I’m into it.”
The departure of quarterback Jared Pierce (763 passing yards, 712 rushing yards) and running back Jeremy Freeman (1774 rushing yards, 24 TDs) will leave two significant holes in the Bulldogs’ offensive attack. However, the coach’s grandson C.J. Curry will fill in at the quarterback position. Curry, a junior, connected on 6 of 8 passes a year ago for 98 yards while carrying the football 13 times for 36 yards (2.8 ypc). Freeman was a work horse for Campbell’s offense last fall. He toted the pigskin 278 times for an average of 6.4 yards per attempt. Senior Matt Cashman (157 rushing yards, 4.6 ypc) will take the brunt of the carries while Rich Snyder (75 rushing yards, 3.9 ypc) is capable of giving Matt a breather as the featured runner. The Bulldogs return practically all of their receivers from 2011. Seniors Jake Peccorelli (26 catches, 276 yards), Jeff Steeber (18 catches, 203 yards), and Zach Ladonis (6 catches, 54 yards) all return along with Alex Klinger who made 17 grabs for 153 stripes as a sophomore. Up front, the senior tackles, Andrew Groome and Gavin Harter, will anchor the offensive line for the ‘Dawgs.
On defense, Berwick has a solid group of seniors led by linebacker Travis Potter and defensive backs Will Masteller, Matt Cashman, John Bushinski, and Jake Peccorelli. Potter led the Bulldogs with 67 defensive stops. Masteller finished with 64 tackles and 2 quarterback sacks while Cashman closed out the year with 59 stops. Bushinski (5) and Peccorelli (4) closed out the campaign as ranking first and second in interceptions on the team. Along the line of scrimmage, Gavin Harter (29 tackles) and Adam Harrison (63 tackles) are both back following strong junior seasons. Defensive coordinator Keith Seely will welcome Brandon Dalberto (8 tackles) back into the mix after an injury riddled 2011. Junior linebacker Jordan Stout finished this past campaign with 17 tackles, a quarterback sack and an interception.
For the 23 seniors in camp playing for Coach Curry is a dream come true. “He’s the man who we all grew up wanting to play for,” says Gavin Harter. Curry will make his much anticipated debut back on the sidelines when the Bulldogs travel to Crestwood on Friday, August 31. “(Crestwood) feels like they’re the team to beat (in District 2 Class AAA). We have to change that.” In week two, the Berwick community will have the opportunity to see the new-look Bulldogs in action with the home opener against Coach Kevin Keating’s Pottsville Crimson Tide.
Fast Fact: Berwick has endured through just one losing season since 1975 (2006: 4-6).
#35 Travis Potter, LB/SR.
2011 – 67 tackles
2010 – 23 tackles
Stats Courtesy of BerwickDawgs.com
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